When I was invited by my good friend Regina to attend her mother’s 89th Praise Birthday Celebration in April, I was excited. Mrs. Sara S. Royster is very close to me. How close? I call her Mom. As I perused the invitation, I noticed the name and the address of the venue, The Hope Center, 1425 Gust Lane, 23323 in Chesapeake. Over the years I have fellowshipped at the New Hope Baptist Church because of Regina and Mama…see I do call Mrs. Sara “Mama”. The point is, I thought I knew this neighborhood, but I could not wrap my head around the Hope Center location. Well, I found my way to the event on time and it was a magnificent “surprise” Birthday Celebration.
Because I was inquisitive about the Hope Center, I set up an appointment to meet with Sammie L. Logan lll, Pastor, New Hope Baptist Church, also on Gust Lane. The conversation centered on the need for expansion his church had investigated. We (the church body) know that growing relates to a need for more physical space. With their church being land-locked, an addition would have taken away the needed parking space. It was quite the dilemma.
“In the meantime,” Pastor Logan told me, “God was working his blessing on us. Crossing the railroad tracks from the Portsmouth side of Gust Lane to the Chesapeake side was the answer to the question on expansion.” On that site, a bank-owned property was for sale that appeared tailored for the church’s needs. After further intense investigation and meetings, the church congregation voted one-hundred percent to accept the 5.8 acre purchase.
“2015 was a good year for the church and the community; we are looking for more great things to come,” said Pastor Logan as he leaned back in his office chair. There were only a few minor adjustments that needed attention before the Hope Center was ready for business. The 300-plus table seating, multi-function area has a great spiritual feeling to it. With high ceilings, two huge viewing monitors, a raised well-lighted stage, and nice bathrooms, this place is a treasure
The church’s dream and goals are to host this venue with events, conferences, and banquets that are alcohol-free. This is a place where the community can build stronger relationships with one another and invite others to join in the fellowship. The Hope Center dedication was held in November 2015 and has tweaked the necessary growing pains associated with a new venue.
Pastor Logan lll is married, and he and his wife have four children. The New Hope Baptist Church and The Hope Center welcome you to have your next event at their Christian, state-of-the-art facility: “A place where community and harmony meet.” Please visit www.theHopeCenterOnline.com or call 757-485-4673.
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